One Arrest – Episode 7, Season 1 – The Wire

Using the information off the wire, the detail successfully grabs the runner and gets evidence on Stinkum.

Teleplay: Rafael Alvarez
Story: David Simon and Ed Burns
Directed by: Joe Chapelle

Opening quote: “A man must have a code” Bunk Moreland

Spoiler Alert: This is written for those who have viewed The Wire at least once if not multiple times. If you have not viewed, please enjoy the wonderful experience of the series for the first time with the delight of not knowing what is coming next. I encourage you to leave this blog and go watch The Wire, or better yet, buy the DVDs from Amazon (affiliate link). The Wire: The Complete First Season

The wiretap has yielded valuable information and the episode opens with the detail hitting the low rises with the strategy of grabbing the runner and letting Stinkum go.

The chase scene through the project has its comedic moments – the locals cheering on the runner and Bodie blocking Herc. The detail succeeds: grabbing the drop (4 G-packs) and photographing Stinkum on the pay phone – which gives Lester a number to connect with Stringer.

McNulty and DA Rhonda Pearlman go to Judge Phelan to get approval on 30 days more of wiretaps. Judge Phelan gives McNulty a priceless grammar lesson:

“You’re confusing “then” and “than.” T-h-e-n is an adverb used to divide and measure time…’Detective McNulty makes a mess then he has to clean it up.’ Not to be confused with ‘than’ most commonly used after a comparative adjective or adverb as in ‘Rhonda is smarter than Jimmy.’”

A recurring theme in The Wire involves one character using another character’s quotes. In the previous episode we see Johnny quoting back to Bubbles about the code of The Game. Bubbles has taken on the role of mentor with Johnny to help him better survive on the street. The problem is Johnny is both inept and has completely bought in to the “high talk” – Bubbles waxing romantic on being high and being clever and succeeding in The Game.

Bubbles and Johnny at the AA meeting.

Bubbles realizes that this is getting Johnny into deeper and deeper trouble. Last episode Johnny gets arrested buying the vials and is now in jail. Bubbles asks Kima to help him get Johnny released. She is able to do this and along with probation, Johnny is released pending regular attendance at AA meetings.

Bubbles accompanies Johnny to the AA meeting and is apparently moved by Waylon’s (Steve Earle) sharing – he gets up to accept a key chain token of being 1 day clean. Even though as Johnny points out “we shoved off this morning.”

One of the things Lester admires about the Barksdale crew is the discipline. When they make a mistake, they are quick to change up the routine and not make the same mistake twice. Now that the low rises has been hit three times – first Omar’s stick up, then the botched search and seizure, and now the successful raid on the Stinkum’s delivery of the re-up. Stringer and Avon call D’Angelo up to the office upstairs at Orlando’s. The first question he is asked is “Who’s snitching?” D’Angelo defends his shop, but Avon tells him that Stringer and Wee-Bey will coming out to the Pit to take a look at things.

Stringer and Wee-Bey change up the routine at the Pit.

That night, Stringer asks D’Angelo, Bodie, Poot and Wallace if they are changing the location of the stash every night. They are. Stringer continues down a mental checklist: Anyone getting high? Are you checking the vacants? Are you staying off phones and cells?

They are following all the rules and only using the two payphones in the courtyard. Stringer orders them to tear out the payphones. From now on they need to walk a block or two to use a payphone and they are not a single payphone more than once a day.

The detail learns from Omar that Bird also gets high. With information from Omar, they track him to a shooting gallery in Carrollton. Lester and Sydnor are undercover. Herc and Carv are covering the back with Daniels and McNulty covering the front. Bubbles is there, working his hat routine, so that they know for certain who Bird is. When they nab Bird, much as Omar said, he is still holding the gun that ties him to Deirdre Kresson’s and two other murders.

Video – Interrogation of Bird; Omar and Bunk go way back (warning language).

A la Carte

  • From the ‘What if’ file – what if Lester Freamon hadn’t been sent to the pawn shop unit?  He has emerged as the leader of the detail.  He’s helped Prez become interested in the case and self-motivated and learning more and more about what they’re getting off the wire.
  • More evidence of what an excellent leader Lester is, he shares the Batman and Robin recording with Carv and Herc.
  • “Thin line between campaign posters and photo arrays…” Burrell
  • Frankie Faison who plays Burrell is perhaps best known for his role as Barnie in Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal – hard to believe that Silence of the Lambs is 21 years old!
  • Sadly, we find out that Wallace is not able to let go of what happened to Brandon. He’s snorting the product.
  • Landsman continues to delight, this time with his Madame LaRue prank, at the expense of Santagelo.
  • This is the first episode teleplay that isn’t written by either Simon or Burns. ‘One Arrest’ is written by Rafael Alvarez a former crime reporter from the Baltimore Sun.
  • We learn that not only did Bunk play LaCrosse in high school, he was “all metro.”

The Target – Episode 1, Season 1, The Wire

The Detail – Episode 2, Season 1, The Wire

The Buys – Episode 3, Season 1, The Wire

Old Cases – Episode 4, Season 1, The Wire

The Pager – Episode 5, Season 1, The Wire

The Wire – Episode 6, Season 1, The Wire

Lessons – Episode 8, Season 1, The Wire

Game Day – Episode 9, Season 1, The Wire

The Cost – Episode 10, Season 1, The Wire

The Hunt – Episode 11, Season 1, The Wire

Cleaning Up – Episode 12, Season 1, The Wire